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Subject: Giving it another go.... rss

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Steve Bernhardt
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Okay, I played WotR once a while ago and felt pretty safe rating it a "5." I was really irritated with the fiddling around with the pieces that look fairly similar and the falling over Nazgul. However, im guessing that I missed something because this game has really kept a high rating.

I like the action dice mechanic, and of course the theme is great. I am getting this in a trade, so here goes:

1. What the heck am I missing? Why is this game good?
2. Regarding the expansion:
a) does it help make other parts of the map important?
b) does it help the Free Peoples player have a better chance of a military victory?
c) are the new cards worth it?

I guess im wondering overall, is the expansion a "must buy?"

3. I will probably color code the bases. I have lots of Games Workshop mini paint, will this do the trick? Or is some other kind of paint better for this plastic?

Thanks!
 
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Kevin Chapman
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wargamer66 wrote:
1. What the heck am I missing? Why is this game good?

Lots of reasons. The combination of Event Cards and Action Dice keeps the game fresh, so no 2 games are alike. They also make for lots of interesting decisions and compromises. The Ring vs Military Victory aspect makes for games that can go either way up until the very end, so you don't have many games that are decided early and end up "going through the motions" to finish.

wargamer66 wrote:
2. Regarding the expansion:
a) does it help make other parts of the map important?

Yes. The Expansion elements allow the Shadow to range more freely over the board and give the Free Peoples more strategy options.

wargamer66 wrote:
b) does it help the Free Peoples player have a better chance of a military victory?

Not really. If anything, it makes it less likely.

wargamer66 wrote:
c) are the new cards worth it?

The cards aren't really the issue. It's more about the new Characters and Factions. See 2.a. above. The other thing to bear in mind is that you also get 2 new games in the package.

wargamer66 wrote:
I guess im wondering overall, is the expansion a "must buy?"

It was for me.

wargamer66 wrote:
3. I will probably color code the bases. I have lots of Games Workshop mini paint, will this do the trick? Or is some other kind of paint better for this plastic?

I'm not familiar with GW products, but my guess is they will work OK. I would also suggest gluing nickels (or similar-sized coins) to the bases of the Nazgul. This will help them stand up better.

Hope this helps!
 
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Noel
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I'll take a pass on question 1 -- everyone has different tastes and you can't convince someone otherwise. I hope you enjoy the game this time around.
2a)In my experience, with the base game the Shadow players have two main military strategies they can follow - a southern Gondor/Rohan/Lorien strategy or -- as we like to call it -- a war of northern aggression where you attack Woodland Realm, Dale, Erebor, etc. This second option is actually great for the Shadow players, as it puts the Free Peoples in a tough position. The expansion tries to make it a bit easier for the FP to deal with this. It also opens up the western part of the board more easily for more combat, if you want. Often, the western part of the board is ignored, or the Shadow player goes for it to get some easy points if the FP player isn't paying too much attention.
2b)It does make the FP somewhat stronger militarily. It makes the Ents much more powerful, it can make sieges more annoying to conduct, it makes Lorien harder to take (although, you then drain the available Elfpower you have to muster).
3c)Most of the new cards are just replacements for old cards to accomodate rules changes. Each side does get two new cards, I think they are a bit powerful.

Overall, after playing with the expansion about five or six times, my group thinks the game is better without it. A lot of people here disagree. What I will tell you is that you can should get the expansion after you feel like you played the original to death.

I haven't painted my game's miniatures, but I am a miniatures wargamer and it's been my overall experience that with plastic figures you should either wash them with some dish soap in warm water before painting them or you should cover them in a clear varnish/sealant first and then paint them (this way the rest of the model is still its original color). This will help prevent paint chipping.

Have fun.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Quote:
The Expansion elements allow the Shadow to range more freely over the board and give the Free Peoples more strategy options.


In what way, in a small nutshell?

Thanks for the replies...
 
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Kevin Chapman
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wargamer66 wrote:
Quote:
The Expansion elements allow the Shadow to range more freely over the board and give the Free Peoples more strategy options.


In what way, in a small nutshell?

Thanks for the replies...

There are new cards that promote action in the northern part of the board, and the Corsairs of Umbar Faction allows the Shadow to move up the coast by sea. Galadriel and the Ent Faction expand the Free Peoples' flexibility by not making an early Gandalf the White as crucial and allowing a better defense of the center of the board, respectively.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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You don't need the expansion to range more freely over the board, you need to start seeing that distance isn't the barrier you thought it was. The WotR community is a little dense on this subject, frankly. For example, it took us ~3 months to settle that going 5 regions to a heavily defended Minas Tirith was actually slower than going 6-7 to Erebor. The time you lose walking is more than made up by the simpler sieges.

More important than geographic distance, is political distance. The FP have precious few muster dice to spend before the SA hordes lock them down. Exploit politics, not proximity.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Well, I played last weekend and definately liked the game more than the first time I played. We played with the expansion in and I was the shadow. I tried the new Witch King, which didn't work well at all. I rolled crappy hunt dice the whole game...so pretty much only saw the fellowship in Rivendell and Lothlorian. When I did have successful hunts, I drew 3 Smeagols and two eyes, which Galadriel promptly dismissed. My opponent hucked the ring into Mount Doom one turn before I would have taken my 10th vp.

Things I noticed:
1)Corsairs - I used them once, then did not want to spend dice to move ships. Felt weak, although there are probably strategies I dont know about.
2)With Smeagol tiles, forget about corruption. Maybe my game was an strange, but the fellowship entered Mordor with 1 corruption.
3) The Ent rules feel unnecessarily complex.
4) Im still very frustrated at the tiny areas that will invariably hold huge armies. How can game companies mess stuff like this up??

Overall, very fun and I plan to have another go at it this weekend.
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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wargamer66 wrote:
4) Im still very frustrated at the tiny areas that will invariably hold huge armies. How can game companies mess stuff like this up??


It's not a "mistake" because they're trying to keep the areas and the map as geographically equivalent to the "real" LotR map, just a hassle. The easiest way to handle this is just to have a "head figure" (usually a leader) stand in the space and pile the men behind him. Odds are you will only have a lot of large armies storming around, so you won't need to worry (too much) about "overlap".

I'm also glad you liked the game on a second go. I'm not quite a fan of the Corsairs, either, but it seems like there might be a use for them... at some point...

The Ent rules, too, are rather complex but they're so fun to smash things up with

Good luck on your next game!
 
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Archibald Zimonyi
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wargamer66 wrote:
4) Im still very frustrated at the tiny areas that will invariably hold huge armies. How can game companies mess stuff like this up??

Or you can use those round markers which is what they are there for. Stack one type of unit at the top of each pile and then just have the correct amount of markers below. Don't forget that the real figures represented by the markers must be kept seperate from your army pool as they are actually on the board and can't be used for more reinforcments.

It is only a small extra hassle and won't slow down gameplay any.

Glad you liked the game more the second time around.

Archie
 
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Mikko Karvonen
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MrWeasely wrote:
You don't need the expansion to range more freely over the board, you need to start seeing that distance isn't the barrier you thought it was.


Hear, hear. I think people concentrate too much around Minas Tirith and Rohan and fail too see alternative approaches to the game.

For example, the northeastern areas can be easy prey and 5 victory points for Shadow, if you go at them at the beginning of the game. With three different factions to activate, it's difficult for Free People to pull their ranks together and form a good defence. Especially since you can bring forces in from east, north and south. It's, as you said, playing the political situation rather than the distance.
 
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